Virchows Archiv

, Volume 431, Issue 2, pp 83–94

The role of cytogenetics in the classification of soft tissue tumours

  • A. P. Dei Tos
  • Paola Dal Cin

DOI: 10.1007/s004280050073

Cite this article as:
Tos, A. & Cin, P. Virchows Archiv (1997) 431: 83. doi:10.1007/s004280050073


 Soft tissue tumours represent a heterogeneous group of mesenchymal lesions, and their classification is the subject of continuous debate. Chromosome analysis, molecular cytogenetics and molecular assays may become increasingly useful in diagnosis, and this review summarises advances in the cytogenetic characterisation and classification of soft tissue tumours. Among the group of fibrous lesions, superficial fibromatosis exhibits trisomy 8. This genomic change is also observed in desmoid fibromatosis in association with trisomy 20. Trisomy 11 is the most frequently observed chromosomal aberration in congenital fibrosarcoma. Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans and giant cell fibroblastoma share a translocation t(17;22), which supports the concept of the existence of a common differentiation pathway. Adipose tissue tumours is the group in which integration of genetics and pathology has been most fruitful. Ordinary lipomas cytogenetically show an abnormal karyotype in about half the cases. Genomic changes of the 11q13 region are observed in hibernoma. Lipoblastoma exhibits a specific 8q rearrangement in 8q11-q13. Loss of material from the region 16q13-qter and 13q deletions are observed in spindle cell/pleomorphic lipomas. The well-differentiated liposarcoma/atypical lipoma group is characterised karyotypically by the presence of one extra ring and/or extra giant chromosome marker. Myxoid and round cell liposarcoma share the same characteristic chromosome change: t(12;16)(q13;p11) in most cases. In the group of smooth muscle lesions most data are derived from uterine leiomyomas, which can be subclassified cytogenetically into seven different types. Half of all leiomyomas are chromosomally normal; the other half have one of six possible consistent chromosome changes. Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma is characterised cytogenetically by two variant translocations t(2;13)(q35;q14) and t(1;13)(p36;q14). Among tenosynovial tumours, the localised type of giant cell tumour of tendon sheath exhibits two different karyotypic changes. One involves 1p11 in a translocation with chromosome 2 or with another chromosome. A second type involves 16q24. Synovial sarcoma is characterised cytogenetically by a translocation occurring between chromosome 18 and presumably two adjacent loci on the X chromosome. In neural tumours, abnormalities of chromosome 22 have been reported in benign schwannomas and perineuriomas. Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumours exist in two main forms: sporadic and associated with the NF-1 syndrome. Karyotypes are very complex, but chromosomes 17q and 22q are very often involved. Clear cell sarcoma is characterised cytogenetically and molecularly by a translocation t(12;22)(q13;q12). The Ewing’s sarcoma/peripheral neuroectodermal tumour category shows a central karyotypic anomaly represented by the translocation t(11;22). The two variants t(21;22) and t(7;22) are found in some cases. Among cartilaginous lesion, the most frequently described anomaly is the t(9;22)(q22;q12) in extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma. Intra-abdominal desmoplastic small round cell tumour is characterised by a t(11;22)(p13;q12).

Key words Soft tissue tumours Classification Cytogenetics 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. P. Dei Tos
    • 1
  • Paola Dal Cin
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Pathology, City Hospital, I-31100 Treviso, Italy Fax: (39) 422-32 26 63IT
  2. 2.Centre for Human Genetics, University of Leuven, Leuven, BelgiumBE